The birthday month culminated at Forte Bistro and Lounge downtown in the financial sector. It is a lovely restaurant right across from the Canadian Opera Company. Parking is complimentary which is amazing in the Big Smoke, this could cost anywhere from $10-25 depending on what’s going on that night! The restaurant was beautiful, it reminded me somewhat of Susur’s place in New York.
After driving around once and unable to find the complimentary parking, I walked in and asked where it was. A gentleman sitting a one of the lounge tables jumped up and said he would look after it and walked out to greet JT who was waiting in the car (the gentleman turned out to be the owner). The place was unfortunately empty (8pm, which is dinner hour in TO), only one other couple at a table. Now normally that would frighten me, but we had read some excellent reviews and decided to try it out regardless. Service was excellent. Our server was around when needed but never just hanging around our table.
We sat in the lounge area, ordered our wine and reviewed the menu. Of course, I already knew what I was having because I’d seen the menu on line. After a while we went to our table. We asked that the meal be spaced out as we were not in a hurry. I ordered the dungeness crab and avocado salad (with ruby grapefruit, crispy sunchokes and a chilled tomato consomme) – it was exceptional, and a lot, it could have easily been my main course. JT ordered the french onion soup dumplings which were like mini onion soups all wrapped up in a dumpling. Very very tasty. 5/5 for both of them.
For our mains, I ordered bouillabaisse. Amazingly presented and so much food; the variety of fish was unbelievable (and only $25, this is a deal!) The broth was really tasty too. What was different than the bouillabaisse I had in Marseilles was that this one was more brothy than creamy and the chef added little four puff pastries disks drizzled with aioli – which gave it its authenticity for taste but without the heaviness. Wow, 5/5 for sure.
JT ordered the roast leg of lamb (Dijon mustard and garlic breadcrumb crust, mint couscous salad). This looked really tasty too, although I didn’t taste it as I don’t love lamb. I’m guessing JT would give it a 5/5 too!
We were just finishing our wine and the waitress mentioned that the owner would love to buy us dessert in celebration of my birthday, not being a dessert eater (and having just ate a massive quantity of food) we opted for a special coffee instead. It truly was lovely experience. I really hope they survive.
Overall rating: Decor 5/5, service 5/5, food 5/5 and Value 5/5.